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New Party

The New Party (新黨 xin1 dang3) is a political party in the Republic of China on Taiwan. It split from the then-ruling Kuomintang in the early 1990s because of that party's shift away from Chinese reunification and because of corruption issues. Originally, the party wanted to name itself the New Kuomintang Alliance but was prevented from doing so due to the similarity of names. The name "New Party" was seemingly inspired by the contemporary electoral success of the Japanese political party Shin-to Sakigake ("New Party Renegades"; see Politics of Japan).

In the mid-1990s, the New Party attracted support from the KMT old guard as well as young urban professionals. The New Party was aided by two charismatic and clean candidates Wang Jian-hsuan[?] and Chao Shao-kang[?].

However, intra-party struggles diminished the party's attraction, and the party became increasingly vulnerable to the accusation that is was a special interest party of Taiwanese Mainlanders. In 2000, the party nominated writer and dissident Li Ao as Presidental candidate who ran a spirited but token campaign. In the election, most members of the party supported James Soong and in fact both Li Ao and the convenor of the New Party encouraged people to do so.

The party was hard hit by the formation of the People First Party after the 2000 election. Many members and leaders of the New Party, seeing the PFP as a more viable party defected to the PFP. Furthermore, the movement of the Kuomintang back to reunification in 2001 also took with it many voters. The party was essentially annihilated in the legislative elections of December 2001, winning only one seat in Quemoy and was also damaged by the fact that one of its more popular members Wang Jian-Hsuan[?] failed to win the county administrator seat for Taipei county despite being supported by all of the members of the pan-blue coalition. However, the party seems to have reemerged in the recent December 2002 elections, where five of its six candidates for the Taipei City council won election with 9% of the vote.

As New Party grew out of Kuomintang, it is usually associated with the pan-blue coalition. Its party color is yellow.

See also: Politics of Taiwan

External link New Party official web site (http://www.np.org.tw/)

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